Audi boss arrested for fraud

18 June, 2018, 17:58 | Author: Eric Barnett

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was arrested in Munich Monday in connection with the diesel-cheating scandal, making him the highest-profile target in the probe that's engulfed the carmaker and parent Volkswagen for nearly three years.

The agency found that Volkswagen had intentionally programmed turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engines to activate their emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing which caused the vehicles' NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) output to meet U.S. standards during regulatory testing, but emit up to 40 times more NOx in real-world driving.

Former VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn stepped down soon after the scandal broke in September 2015, while successor Matthias Mueller was hastily replaced earlier this year.

A spokesman for the brand said Stadler's arrest would be discussed at a supervisory board meeting on Monday.

Audi had no immediate comment regarding the arrest, and Stadler himself as well as Munich prosecutors were not immediately available for comment.

News of the arrest comes as VW's new group CEO Herbert Diess is trying to introduce a new leadership structure - which includes Stadler - and speed up the group's shift towards electric vehicles in the wake of the biggest motoring scandal in modern history.

Audi said in a statement last week that it was "co-operating with the authorities" in the probe.

But pressure has been mounting on the auto giant to make amends in Europe too.

German prosecutors had earlier confirmed that an arrest warrant issued to his name is based on "concealment of evidence" after conducting a raid at his house last week.

But the saga has cast a wider pall over Germany's vaunted vehicle industry, shattering the myth of "clean diesel" and raising suspicions of emissions manipulation among other companies.

As part of the investigation, Stadler's home has been raided, while authorities are now investigating 19 other suspects, the identities of whom have not been disclosed.

To date, just two people have been convicted over "dieselgate", both in the US. He was charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud American customers and violate the Clean Air Act.



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